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Match Report


Posted Mon 09 Feb 04 at 09:18 AM


Brentford's brave second half display was shattered by two City goals in the last four minutes. It seemed The Bees were heading back down the M4 with a point, as Eddie Hutchinson's header stunned the Ashton Gate crowd with thirteen minutes remaining.

The Bees had nullified the City attack after the break, but after they conceded a needless free-kick, Robins' captain Matthew Hill capitalising on slack marking to drive a stake through Brentford hearts. Substitute Leroy Lita, whose two goals gave City a win at Griffin Park on Boxing Day, rubbed salt in the wounds with an injury-time third.

Having to field Brentford forced an early corner, and could have forged ahead in the third minute; Sonko's header on the edge of the six-yard box going over the bar without a City player in sight. The Bees were to rue that chance as the home side took the lead a minute later. Aaron Brown's left-wing cross was met by Lee Miller, who headed past Julian from six yards.

It was a sign of Julian's in-experience in the tenth minute that he was caught by the assistant-referee releasing the ball with his hands outside of the penalty area, but Brain Tinnion's free-kick was off-target.

Lee Peacock and Brown's shots did not trouble Brentford before City missed a golden opportunity to double their advantage in the nineteenth minute; Marc Goodfellow failing to convert his one-on-one with Julian after Tinnion spliced the Brentford defence with a clever chip.

In the 40th minute, City goalkeeper Steve Phillips bravely punched away a Brentford attack but needed treatment for his trouble. In a late flurry, Stephen Hunt and Tony Rougier combined for Michael Dobson, but he fired over seconds before Referee Pugh signalled for the half time break.

Brentford continued to harass their opponents, limiting the home side to occasional breakaways. Tony Rougier was a threat whenever he received the ball, giving Craig Woodman a hard time at left-back. City manager threw on Christian Roberts and Leroy Lita, to pep up the attack. Both were to have bearing on the result.

For all The Bees' endeavour, they were rewarded with a goal in the 77th minute. After Jay Tabb had been fouled outside the City area, skipper Michael Dobson took a quick free-kick, noticing that Eddie Hutchinson had timed his run to perfection. The midfielder flicked the ball past a static City defence to give Brentford an equaliser in front of an ecstatic away following.

The time ticked on with a draw the likely outcome, but The Bees left Ashton Gate pointless with two goals in the last four minutes. Matthew Hill nudged the ball over the line from Aaron Brown's free-kick after a goalmouth melee in which Brentford had three opportunities to clear. City wrapped up the scoring as Christian Roberts fed Leroy Lita, who rounded Julian for City's third.

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